Thursday, October 18, 2007

Daily Digest October 18, 2007



ST.JOHN'S TELEGRAM - No more entitlements


        Dion bides his time

MONTREAL GAZETTE - Election psychodrama is over - for now

         Canadian consumers are gouged

TORONTO STAR - PM's blatant snub of Canada's cities

NATIONAL POST - Harper's master stroke

HAMILTON SPECTATOR - No case for a federal election

WINDSOR STAR -  Senate reform
Brown's welcome appointment

SUDBURY STAR - Abstaining lacks political courage

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS - How not to do it

CALGARY HERALD - Full speed ahead on human rights
Aboriginals need equal access to the complaint process

         Persistence does pay off

CALG    ARY SUN - Shenanigans aplenty in Ottawa

Royalty review decision seems to be a Catch-22

LETHBRIDGE HERALD - Time for MPs to get back to work in Ottawa


        Throne Speech clever move for Harper

VANCOUVER SUN - Dion chooses the wise course in trying to make this government work

VANCOUVER PROVINCE - We must tighten our defences against slick child molesters

        Let's not add to mountain of global-warming hype

VICTORIA TIMES-COLONIST - Tasers a weapon of near-last resort
Increasing use of electric stun guns raises questions about dangers to victims


Afghan mission in peril, European experts warn
Only more manpower can overcome NATO disunity, poor strategy

Coalition forces 'are fighting a lost cause against the Taliban'

Poll shows Afghans want NATO troops to stay

Don't blame us, retailers say
It's not our fault prices haven't dropped since the Canadian dollar soared

U.S. will hinder world's economy

Tougher welfare rules proving effective at reducing poverty, study says

Canada's economy starting to cool: central bank

Should we worry about where Russia is headed?

Putting up hurdles for Canadian doctors coming home

Muslim students push for halal eatery
Alcohol makes U of T campus bar unsuitable

Ontario told to open wallet
Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty made the call on the province, yesterday

Testing credibility, and gullibility

Speech interjects Ottawa into campaign

PQ would bar immigrants who can't speak French from seeking election

Harper reloads with crime ultimatum
Government won't accept amendments to bill, PM says after Liberals attempt to dodge bullet by abstaining on Throne Speech

Tories accused of playing politics with crime bill
Government legislation will be treated as a confidence motion, which means election could still happen

Tories demand speedy passage for crime bill

Liberals attack over $1.2M Tory ad scheme
Demand two Tories involved in 'illegal' funding plan step aside during probe

Hill surprised and disappointed with Dion

O'Brien investigation fodder for question period
Liberals want Reynolds, Finley to step aside; Tories say 'absolutely nothing improper took place'

PSAC Statement on the Speech from the Throne

Tories accused of using election to avoid spending probe

Size matters for the Prime Minister
Smaller government is better, the Tories are suggesting, in a possible sign of things to come

Throne Speech addresses agriculture, but raises some concerns

Dion sidesteps throne speech challenge from Conservatives

Dion's desperate bid to offer hope

Majority rule in all but name
Conservatives can enact agenda with Liberals' help

How Dion can get his groove back

Dion needs a new dog

Tories push law-and-order bill

Dion won't bring down Tories

Tory database draws ire of privacy experts for including constituency files

Liberals 'too far' from grassroots, Quebec lieutenant says

Master of disaster

Four provinces target share of windfall

Ottawa could spark trade war
Action on single regulator likely to anger provinces

Tories to reintroduce anti-terror legislation
Latest incarnation to heed advice of top court, committees

Security focus threatens privacy: report
Canadians want strong privacy laws, commissioner says

Political winds buffeting Canada's foreign aid policy, report says

Crime statistics at odds with Tory pledge

Tories vow lakes cleanup

Ontario's great scam revealed

More choice makes for better quality
Preston Manning, For The Calgary Herald

Oilpatch sowing paranoia and fear
Energy firms and their apologists trying to paint panel's report as extremist attack

Water is too precious for politics

Battle on the home front: Changing public opinion

Tory crime crackdown misguided, ignores prevention efforts that work: expert


Les conservateurs ressortent leur arsenal de lutte contre le crime

Prudent, Dion suivra Harper

Le transfert des prisonniers afghans contesté en cour



        The upside effect of late nights is getting done whatcha wanna do.  The down side? Waking up groggy and acting before fully cognizant.

        Last night I vaguely remember wondering where my IN BOX had gone as I was shutting down, running C Cleaner and defragmenting. This morning I looked at
        the TrRASH mailbox.  It had several hundred in it - so I deleted them.


        The outcome is this request to those whose posts were lost, please send them again.

        Two things from to-day's articles The first relates to this headline "Tory database draws ire of privacy experts for including constituency files" which says   "says every Conservative MP is required to use something called CIMS, an acronym for Constituent Information Management System." and about which this is said:

         "Those best practices, which are almost universally recognized in most western democracies, would suggest that political parties should give notice,    get consent and provide people access to their information," said Fraser.

         "Whether or not they choose to do that would speak volumes to how they see themselves as responsible custodians of this personal information."

         The second you can blame on al heisey. He sorta liked the comments that were put up from the Halifax Daily News several days ago so in lieu of the lost posts a         set from CTV is posted today.

        Let me know whether you agree with hize this is something to do from time to time or not to bother.

From: TMA

WOW!  Is this true.  The power to determine when, where, & how an election is triggered has been turned over to Dion?  Put what you want in the crime bit, most people support the bill anyway, will not be the bill to trigger. 

Wait until the environment bill is re-introduced.  This is Dion's area of strength and the Conservative weakness (publically). Now the games will begin.  With the Libs battle ready with the internal party issues it will be fight when they all re-focus on the Conservatives. 

If Mr. Harper wants an election, best go see the GG on drop the writ on his terms.   


. . . Harper can not go to the GG.

Election date now fixed by his legislation

Has to lose a vote of confidence or none until 2009 sometime.


(Better a name than TMA if possible)

From: "Real Gagne"


Instead of "hubris" how about "schadenfreude?"


. . . must remain hubris at present, the pride part of
the proverb " pride goes before a fall" is thought
to sum up the modern definition of hubris.

The word "schadenfreude?" It comes in after the fall.


Comments are now closed for this story
Tories demand speedy passage for crime bill
Updated Thu. Oct. 18 2007 7:34 PM ET News Staff

The Conservative government introduced its omnibus law-and-order legislation today, demanding that it receive speedy passage through the parliamentary process.

The Tackling Violent Crime Act contains three of the five bills that didn't pass in the last session of Parliament.

They include a bill to impose mandatory minimum penalties for firearms crimes, a bill increasing the age of sexual consent to 16 from 14, and a bill that would place the onus of those accused of firearms offences to prove why they should receive bail.

A fourth bill, on drug-impaired driving, was still in a Commons committee. But it did not face any real opposition.

The main sticking point for the Opposition was a bill dealing with violent and sexual offenders.

"Under the proposed legislation those convicted of violent or sexual crimes three times or more will be required to show the court why they should not be designated as dangerous offenders," Justice Minister Rob Nicholson said Thursday.

He also said the age of consent for sexual activity would be raised from 14 to 16 years of age to "better protect young people from adult sexual predators."

Nicholson said further that those who commit serious gun crimes will face higher mandatory prison sentences.

"In addition, those accused of such crimes will have to show why they should not be detained while awaiting trial," he said.

Police will also have better tools to aid them in investigating drug and alcohol impaired driving incidents.

"The Tackling Violent Crime Act is the first of a series of new criminal bills that will be announced in the near future," said Nicholson. "These bills will address areas of concern such as serious drug crime, youth crime, and identity and property theft."

The Liberals supported some of the provisions in the last session but also opposed provisions that would make it easier to classify repeat felons as dangerous offenders.

"The bills that are included as part of this comprehensive package are as amended by the House of Commons," said Nicholson.

CTV's chief political correspondent Craig Oliver said the fact that the amendments remain is significant.

"These bills were amended by agreement between the government and the opposition before the House prorogued and they died on the order paper, so the government is bringing them back," said Oliver.

"Reporters were under the impression that the government was scrapping the amendments to the justice legislation which would have been a slap in the face to the opposition parties and would have, in effect, invited them to defeat these bills."

Nicholson said the Conservatives would not bow to any substantial amendments from the opposition, although the bill must go through parliamentary channels and be reviewed by a committee.

Since the act will be considered a matter of confidence, an election would be triggered if the legislation was defeated.

"We will be holding, particularly, the Liberals to account on this,'' Nicholson said.

"If they are serious about getting tough on crime . . . they should have no problem in expediting this bill through the legislative process in both houses of Parliament.''

Meanwhile, the Opposition dismissed the do-or-die piece of legislation as chest-thumping from a party looking for an election.

"Everybody else is soft on crime, they're the only ones who really care about Canadians' safety -- it's complete nonsense," said Liberal justice critic Marlene Jennings.

The NDP is calling on the government to hive off the four less-contentious bills and send them back to the Senate.

"When you get a bill already in the Senate and that is being brought back into the House of Commons to start all over again, they understand that the delay is not coming from the Opposition, but it's coming from the government," said NDP justice critic Joe Comartin.

But the Bloc Quebecois and the NDP said they will support the legislation at least in the early stages.

"They're doing this to embarrass the Liberals. I'm not a Liberal, so I'm not embarrassed,"said Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe.

With files from The Canadian Press
Comments are now closed for this story
Brian Fraser
It is time to dump the Senate.

Harper is doing the right thing by pushing this bill, although raising the age of consent is not necessary.

Another attempt to implement ineffective right wing policies to crime and punishment. It's sad that many Canadians actually believe that such strategies are effective.
Locking up offenders does NOTHING to address the causes of crime and criminality. Using CPTSD strategies and not punitive ones ar likely to harner better results. It is common knowldege within the criminonology that severity of punishment does no deter.
As one of the most punitive countries in the world and also one with on of the highest crime rates it is clear that our law and order approach is not as effective as those conservative politicians would like you to believe.
Most people in society know very little about the realities that face the justice system and what in fact is effective.

Matt Crites
This is an excellent start to the reform of our "catch and release" justice system in Canada. Great work Stephen Harper!!

I cannot believe the NERVE of Stephen Harper making this stupid, empty act a confidence matter. All he cares about is power, and he has demonstrated time and time again that it is HE who is not willing to work with other parties, because he is too pig headed to consider anyone else's opinions. This is further proof of the way he would govern a country. His way or the highway. He does not listen to the Canadian people, he does not listen to anyone else in Parliament, and he has no interest in any opinions if they are not right wing, capitalist, police state, grassroots REFORM ideals.

FC Speth
Somebody pinch me. I am still in Canada? Criminals actually being punished for their crimes instead of being coddled and "rehabilitated"? What a novel concept. Mandatory sentences for gun crimes? About time. I dare the Liberals to oppose this legislation. Go ahead make Steve's day, so to speak.

Even if this bill passes, our liberal supreme court & similar provincial appeals courts will eventually nullify the actual thrust of this legislation. Hopefully government lawyers have crossed all their "T's" and dotted all their "I's".

This will be great news for all Canadians (except criminals) when this passes. It would be political suicide for the opposition to vote this bill down.

If the opposition parties vote this down, they are implying that they support violent crimes.

Brian M
Just a quick note to the Liberals~

If ya can't beat em, join em!

How can anyone say the Conservatives aren't doing their duty for Canadians?!

Liberalism! The party is slowly coming to an end.

Definitely a step in the right direction, and long overdue. Now if only the Judiciary will make it stick and not water it down.

Good!!! About time a federal government did what they were elected to do. After numerous liberal governments all we've gotten is weak laws, poor judicial appointments & a revolving door for criminals, be they Canadians or illegal aliens. Has anyone noticed the major centres have become war zones due to our past bleeding heart governments and their lack of desire to stem the flow of bloodshed?
About time!!!

This is very good news that this important legislation will be promptly passed through the House.

What is more important to Canadians than their security?

I will give the Liberal Party credit for their decision to abstain from voting on any Confidence vote, which will allow important legislation like this to be enacted.

Although the Liberal Party may be doing it based on their fear of an election, the end result is a positive one for Canada and Canadians.

Do the crime, do the time!
FINALLY a Prime Minister who says what he means and means what he says!!

We desperately need mandatory sentences and stiffer sentences to override these lax judges who operate according to an ill conceioved laissez faire policy which doesn't work.

If the Liberal opposition wants to obstruct parliament once again over this much discussed legislation then they deserve what they get at the polls.

To the right wing posters and supporters there is no "catch and release policy" -- please get your facts straight before you drink to much kool-aid!!!

I would like to see 'house arrest' gone as well.

jd in Calgary
Finally some common sense. If someone breaks the law they get punished. I'm tired of hearing how criminals should be rehabilitated and coddled. You break the law you should pay the price. Unlike the former Liberal governments that would rather punish law abiding citizens and make them the criminals.( THE GUN REGISTRY!)I just hope this passes, but there will be some bleeding heart Liberal, or NDP'er that is going to whine about this bill.

You have to be kidding me Brian. Raising the age of consent is not necessary?! Raising the age of consent is not about criminalizing sexual activity for teenagers. It's about protecting teenagers from sexual exploitation by adults who should know better.

Never mind age of consent or protecting children from predators, never mind tracking dangerous criminals, forget about holding young offenders accountable, we need do make sure those evil hunters register their duck guns!

Mary E.
Kieran is right. We won't see crime go down with the introduction of this bill. It only satisfies armchair vigilantes. All this is going to ultimately accomplish is cost Canadian taxpayers a whole lot more for increased and longer incarceration. Spend a little more time thinking about this, folks!

Why are people in the country so blind?!? Harper should lead, but no leader should dictate!

At best he represents 40 - 45% of the pop here in Canada. That's not nearly enough for such heavy handed tactics.

I voted for Harper in the last election, but wouldn't do so again. His true colors are showing through... (To those that always knew what they were, I'm sorry.)

The real problem is who do I vote for now? Dion is too weak, and Layton is the one that put Harper in power. (Perhaps we should all remeber that too next go around.)

Root causes be damned. Keeping a root cause from using a gun AGAIN in the next 25 years is a good 1st start.

I agree with Brian Fraser. All these bills are great but the Age on Consent Bill is to be scrapped.

Hey, can somebody let Joe know that in Canada, we don't refer to people as "illegal aliens", and that the over the top description of "the flow of bloodshed" was seriously over doing it.

This isn't Detroit.

But good on the Conservatives for leaving in the amendments. Goes to show these kids might actually be able to work together.

Your comments are ridiculous. How do you suggest we deal with criminals, let them get away scott free. I currently live downtown in one of Canada's major cities and it is clearly evident that change is needed. I can suggest to you that you should try to walk downtown in any major city and decide if we need laws tougher on crime.

J from winnipeg
"Locking up offenders does NOTHING to address the causes of crime"

Causes of crime -> Criminals

How can keeping violent offenders in jail do nothing to address the cause of crime? They ARE the cause of crime.

K. Blake
Addressing crime is far more complicated than simply addressing punishment and justice. The United States is a prime example of manufacturing hardened criminals out of people who simply suffered from social economic problems. Addressing the continually widening prosperity gap is proven to decrease crime statistics. Call me a bleeding heart whatever but it does not change the fact that the American example of simply addressing crime and punishment and doing noting about poverty has the opposite effect than expected.

This is a step in the right direction. It's time criminals become accountable for their actions. I don't understand why Liberal and NDPer's don't support punishing criminals for their crimes, its' just ridiculous. This is not a right wing conservative vote getter by trying to pass these bills, it's just common sense and it is what CANADIANS want.

It appears to me that the opposition parties would rather see criminals walking the streets and victims of crime suffering even more by watching those who have effected their lives forever walk. Now I know why I'm going to vote for the conservatives in the next election. Both the NDP and the Liberals (who I traditionally voted for) have lost all of my confidence, because they are not listening to the Canadian voters, they're listening to lawyers and other special interest groups. Geez guys, when are you going to get it!!

Terry G
"Locking up offenders does NOTHING to address the causes of crime and criminality."

That might be true but it prevents the criminals from conducting act 2, 3 and 4 doesn't it?

As for causes of crime, how would any government legislate a solution to that? You can't legislate against stupidity.

And, attempts at rehabilitation are fine, as long as it's on the offenders dime. (Ownership)

Kieran wrote: "...Locking up offenders does NOTHING to address the causes of crime and criminality."

This is the sort of foolish comments that emanate from the loonie left.

They have no sense or concept of the word RESPONSIBILITY, nor any understanding that there are behavioral boundaries which society must live within if we are to enjoy peace an not have anarchy.

Crime is down in Canada, there were big articles on this subject in all the major newspapers not 2 days ago.

But, hey, why let reality get in the way of the standard conservative self-indulgent rant?

Paul A
It is about time the government is going to make criminals accountable for their actions. Honest citizens deserve this act. The liberals have made it easy for criminals in this country.

M. Cameron
This seems akin to stuffing the ballot box. However, the Harper government may actually get away with it and that is truly unfortunate.

Yes it is about time that we had some tougher laws. First step completed. (Hopefully) Now the criminals go to jail to be punished. Except punishment really doesn't do much to deter. Prisons are overpopulated and cost money. Next step, improve the penal system. Make prisoners work and make prisons self sufficient. Not too many years ago prisons in BC used to raise their and grow thier own food. That was cancelled. Third step, no prisoner gets out without being fully rehabilated regardless if they have done their time. They should have at least a grade 12 education and a trade or skill that will be useful to society.

Listening to Canadians and implementing policies and legislation that make Canada a safer and more secure country for its citizens ... finally a government that has its priorities straight. Well done! Next time an opposition party says its speaks for Canadians, ask them why they delayed the original Conservative crime bill for more than 700 days and watered it down to a meaningless 'scape of paper!'

Kieran, If I had a family member murdered I could honestly care less about the deterrence factor. I want that person punished!! The longer they are away, the safer society is.

Lart from Above
Tories can "demand" what they like, but they are still in the minority.

My recollection is that when Trudeau tried to combine a bunch of different bills into a big omnibus bill, Joe Clark was able to resist that in Parliament, and the omnibus was split into its different parts. That's what Dion should do now. Someone needs to remind the government that the House of Commons still matters.

Since when has a minority government ever refused to work with the opposition. why has Harper been refusing to work with anyone. Do you people who support Harper remember how a minority government works? Cooperation is the main key. In my opinion harper and the conservatives are just being bullies. And if they do fall it will be on there heads. I am all for tougher laws on crime but I would rather have the opposition parties have a say in the bill so it isn't to one sided to the right wing.

Mark Kieran,

How typical of the left wing (nobody is responsible) perspective.

Guess what Kieran, when the criminal is locked up (70% of homicides and other violent crimes in TO were committed last year by those out on 'bail' or on parole) the criminal is NOT assaulting, breaking and entering, murdering ME.

Sorry Kieran, the weak kneed Liberal approach has proven not to work.

Get 'em off the street.

Rick Middleton
Brilliant analogy Dan. Next up, if you don't support the torture of suspected terrorists then you must support terrorism.

Setting the contents of the Bill aside for a moment. This is just Harper attempting yet again force an election and come off looking like the better leader in the process.
It would irresponsible for the opposition parties to let this right-wing bill pass without trying to amended the bill to also support the views of the other political parties and not just the conservative viewpoint on crime, this is what we elected them to do. Just because they don't support the bill in its current state does not mean they don't support getting tough on crime.

It's funny. Yesterday it was reported that crime is a 10 year low and this is a part of a 30 year trend. Although I believe that we must be more vigilant in certain areas, don't swallow everything the New Government tells you.

Had the Cons accepted the offer to fast track all but three bills earlier this year then there wouldn't be much to look at. Faux outrage again from the conservative supporters. Too blind or dumb to know what their own party is doing. They risk losing all important crime legislation in order to create an election. We the citizens suffer as I see value in most of these laws. And the social conservatives get used all over again. Can't you guys see that this government only fulfilled 2 of 5 priorities last time around mainly because they stonewalled themselves? Then to blame it on the senate. The nerve.

The majority of Canadians have been calling for such changes for a long time. I commend the CPC for having the courage and resolve to finally punish violent criminals. Most Canadians don't even know that the age of sexual consent is 14, when I realized this I was seriously taken aback.

It is a little known fact that Canada has to this date the BEST system. It's also been proven that mandatory sentencing does not work it only adds to the problem. So if we are the best in the world why are we changing our system???

Gerry Demers
Whether this bill is approved or not, I do not call this a bill that is getting tough on crime. If you are guilty of being a sexual predator once, you will always be guilty. They are a menace to children everywhere in this country, they deserve no right and no pity from the court. Believing you can heal a sexual predator is like believing we will wipe out poverty. This bill is way too soft in it's entirety. Get real on this, if you are caught once, you go away 10 years the first time, get caught again you get life time. Am I being too harsh. Will CTV print my view this time or am I too outspoken. Maybe it is time people to say what we really mean to the ones we elect or let us elect ones that will listen to what the people really want, not some lousy poll where one never answers the thruth.

Has policing and jailing decreased crime in the US or US crime onto nations? What type of mentality will locking bodies into cells lead to? It is interesting that they want to raise the age of consent for sexual activity. What other forms of sexual activity will be thrown into jail? What about mental disorders and "crime"? What about police brutality towards people, leading to deaths? Will this increase? Who gets to say what is criminally justified?

I'm happy to see the government getting tough on crime, but their are elements of this bill that also make me uncomfortable. I'm not a real big fan of the guily until proven innocent asspects of the repeat offender, or release awaiting trial. Also, three strike rules have show to be tragic to law enforcment offiers when violent criminals are avoiding strike 3. All that being said, this is certainly a step in the right direction.

New Allegiance
This week I have officially become a supporter of the Conservative Party. Classy and Moderate; 2 attributes the party I formerly supported appear to have absolutely no clue about. This is an excellent initiative by the "centre" party which now has my complete support and confidence.
ps - just don't blow it please Mr. Harper; as recently proven - power can corrupt....

Congrats to the Conservatives for getting the job done on crime, what would of made the bill even better is more attention paid to cruelty to animals.

I think this just another ploy on the Conservatives to distract us from other important issues on hand. Like the environment for instance. Mr. Harper keeps taking credit when it makes him look good and pointing the finger when it makes him look bad.

Finally, our lives will be worth something rather than 2 yrs. or 6 months. I am all for these changes.

I see that some of the left wing posters keep mentioning the fact that crime rates are down and this may be correct. But ... they neglect to mention the fact that crime rates for serious and violent crimes continue to rise. That is exactly what most Canadians are concerned about.

boomer said"
"It is a little known fact that Canada has to this date the BEST system. It's also been proven that mandatory sentencing does not work it only adds to the problem. So if we are the best in the world why are we changing our system???"

If you think we have it so good, why don't you go to Jane and Finch in Toronto and yell that out loud and see what happens. We will see if the system is that good.

It is about time this Liberal infested Senate was dumped!PM Harper is doing a great service to all Canadians with this crime bill.No other party seems to have the backbone to get tough on crime.If you do not agree then just talk to the victims whosr children have been gunned down.But then again the Liberals never punished the accused only the victims.There party would be very scarce of members if they had.Bravo PM Harper,you continue to make me so proud to be Canadian!

It's sad that some Canadians believe the only purpose of the justice system is rehabilitation and deterrence. Justice is also about protecting society. The laws as they presently exist do not go far enough to keep criminals away from victims or keep them from repeating their actions.
What good is a justice system that deludes itself into believing that every criminal (or even the majority) can be rehabilitated quickly? Yes, we need to deter crime. But, until we find some magic solution, we also have to protect society.
Repeat violent offenders have the "repeat" designation because they've already been given a chance and squandered it. I would rather protect innocent people from criminals who have proved they will not change than give repeat offenders endless opportunities.

We will always have crime and criminals and there is no effective way of eliminating it, only reducing it. The fact is that some of the crime inherent in our country comes from an overly Liberal mind set in our homes that doesn't recognize and restrict improper thinking and behavior. Having said that, too much conservatism can push children to the same messed up behavior.

Balance is the answer in our homes and in our law and right now our crime laws are way to soft put in place by Liberal governments.

While I'm on the topic, if someone breaks into my house late at night in my opinion they forfeit their rights. Wouldn't you all agree and when it this going to be corrected?

Someone put this parliament out of its misery. I think it's time for the Liberals to stand on principal and vote down this motion. It's time for an election. This Conservative right wing government needs to end. If it's another minority government sobeit at least it'll take the wind out of their right wing hate filled sails

People should remember that the bills still contain all of the oppostion parties amendments. Having this bill previously held up in the liberal senate is why it should pass quickly.

Mary E, in Toronto last year 7 out of 10 murders have been committed by previous vilolent offenders. Having locked them up for an appropriate period of time would have significantly reduced violent crime in Toronto.

Kieran, this isn't about fighting root causes of crime; this is about the governments duty to protect us from those that have committed serious offences. If you had a child shot and killed by a gang member would you advocate a shorter sentence because the killer was just a product of society?

Andy in Cambridge
Ken: How can you say that Mr. Harper does not listen to Canadians? Did you listen to or read the throne speech? the items in the speech address what the majority of Canadians want the government to deal with. It was the Liberals who never listened to Canadians.

Several states in the US, California for example, have so-called "three strikes" legislation, where most repeat offenders are given automatic 25 years to life sentences on their third felony conviction. The results have included overcrowded prisons, budgetary shortfalls for DoCs and a not so significant drop in crime. Though the Conservative's legislation does make a distinction for violent and sexual offences, I still believe this is a short-sighted and opportunistic move, that could have a serious impact on our justice system. It should be the subject of serious debate in the HoC and not fast tracked for the sake of expediency.

Andy in Cambridge
It was a good move on the part of the conservatives to leave the amendments in the legislation. Now, if the Liberals oppose it, they'll come off as the ones who don't want to co-operate and get things done, and they'll be liars, because of what Mr. Dion said about wanting to make parliament work in is response to the throne speech

David from Ontario
Getting tough on crime made New York City a less dangerous place to live and work. Other than the murder of some 2000 + persons on 11 September 2001 in that city, this policy just may work.
As for the legal age consent part, as stated by others, it is not about criminalising consentual behaviour between kids (though that is a parental issue), it's all about protecting them from predators.

Harper is hungry for power, and desperate to force Canadians into another needless election simply to gain a few more seats for his party. Why else would he make this a confidence matter?

Never mind the fact that the crime rate in Canada has been steadily dropping for the last ten years, or the overwhelming body of evidence from the U.S. that demonstrates that mandatory minimums and other such draconian crime measures don't actually lower crime rates - Harper would rather fear-monger among the poorly informed Canadian populace, making it seem like his partisan greed is merely his way of looking out for the safety of Canadians.

Paul Montreal
This bill rests on the assumption that if you want to stop something from happening, you should make it illegal or if it is already illegal, you should toughen the penalties. The problem is that it doesn't work!!! Countless studies have been done on everything from mandatory sentences to the death penalty and all have shown absoulety ZERO effect on crime rates and recidivism (main reason: criminals don't think they will get caught so are not deterred). On top of it all, Canada already has the third highest rate of incarceration in the world after the US and Russia despite already low and steadily declining crime rates. I am a lawyer and actually know what I'm talking about! and as for fears that 'our liberal supreme court and provincial appeals courts will strike the provisions down" if they go against the Charter it is their DUTY to do so and we as Canadians should be happy about that and not afraid. This bill stinks.

No matter where you sit on this issue. The fact of the matter in the way the government is putting it forward now, indicates that they feel Dion is weak and cannot defend a stance against this. And the government is playing right into his weakness to push this and probably soon to be other things through.

For those who want to use statistics showing a decrease in crime and are eager to villify Harper for taking a tough stand against criminal activities in Canada, please get all the facts. In 2006 Stats Can reported the total violent crime rate remained virtually unchanged from 2005, mainly due to the stability in the rate of minor assaults, which account for 6 in 10 violent crimes. The national homicide rate fell 10%, halting two years of increases. However, increases were reported in many serious violent crimes such as attempted murder, aggravated assault, assault with a weapon, robbery and kidnapping/forcible confinement. Only a decrease in non-violent crimes cause the national crime rate to drop 3%. Successive Liberal governments have been tough on white collar crime but should we punish those cheating paper pushers or those violent repeat offenders? It's a no brainer.

We need more money spent on crime prevention on NOT punitive laws. How about a law banning hand guns from our country completely? Even the police should loose their hand guns. If a situation is serious enough to warrent guns call in the tactical unit just like the police in Britain.

I think you people are not really thinking about the actual facts here. Since all the amendments are still in the bill, and the liberals only had one problem left to solve and that was to make it tougher. Why would the vote it down. It is technically a finished bill that all parties agreed on. So it is pointless to make it a confidence motion. It is all just for show. The conservatives new the bill would pass no problem.

According to the information on CPAC,these are bills that have already been debated,sent to committee,and amended as opposition parties had their say.That,being the case,I think they should move very quickly to become law.
Having said that,and even as someone who is currently supporting the Conservatives,I agree with those who say we have to be vigilant as Mr.Harper tries to flex his muscles.

Harper is doing the right thing. For anyone who says that "Locking up offenders does NOTHING to address the causes of crime" well at least the criminals can't commit more crimes while they are in jail!

The Opposition should be ashamed of themselves for holding up this anti-crime legislation which should have gone through in the last session of Parliament. They have only dug their hole deeper by opposing it in the last sesssion, and will make it deeper still if they oppose this necessary legislation in this sitting of Parliament.

Is Harper going to make every issue a confidence vote in order to get his way and drive his bills down the MAJORITY'S throat? I wonder...

Maybe its time they address the Young Offenders Act. Children are killing children and there is no hard penalty. The Act is far too lenient for our times.

James M
The root cause of crime in a majority of cases is socio-economic. Unless you deal with those issues you will not be dealing with crime. Putting criminals in jail is one thing. But once they are released, how have you dealt with their original cause by placing them back in it. People do the reading on the subject. I work with inmates and I have studied Criminology. Kieran is correct. You have to deal with the socio-economic factors if you really want to deal with crime. If you check the major cities you will all see the same thing. Socio-economic factors are all there. The law will be struck down by the courts as it should be. They need a bill to address the socio-economic factors that cause people to turn to a life a crime to really deal with the issues.

John from Kit.
I think that most of these ideas are good, and should be passed. How can you people think Harper's doing such a great job, and that all of a sudden, so many of you are so proud to be Canadian? He has a minority government! He has to do what the opposition tells him, for the most part. And get over what the Liberal party didn't do. It's getting very old. The Liberal party has new people, and when an election comes, people will finally see Dion's full potential.

The World Perceives Canada as a nation 'soft on crime' and it is very true. Rapists and murderers are getting out on a portion of their time. We should not try and rehabilitate a repeat offender but rather punish him or her and send a strong message. The Conservatives are doing the right thing in toughening up on crime, seeing that there is a massive rise in Gun Crimes in Toronto and other cities. As far as the senate goes, the liberal dominated senate is an obstacle to democracy. Either have a fully elected senate and make them do some work, or abolish the senate altogether.

It's important to learn facts, it is very hard to rehabilitate many many sexual offenders. They re-offend so these are the people I want off the street. I am a parent and I must think that all parents would feel this way and how can we protect our children if we are letting people back into society with a little slap on the wrist for vioslent sexual offences? I support what Harper is doing completely.